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Eagle Chronicles 3: Alive and Well

Title: Alive and Well
Series: The Eagle Chronicles
Word Count 5930
Summary Steven goes home for the first time after faking his death
Author's Note I was curious as to how his family would react when he showed up
on the doorstep after his "death"

3. Alive and Well

Steven woke with a start in the middle of the night with a stifled scream. He cautiously got
out of bed, crept to the door and opened it a crack. No one had heard him. He went to the window, sat on the sill and looked up at the stars. What a peaceful night. It was hard to
believe that across the Channel a war was going on, or, more close to home, that he saw his own friend shot right in front of his eyes. He took a deep breath and tried to relax himself. Soon he was asleep, curled on the sill.

That was how Hank Wright found him in the morning. "Couldn't sleep again last night?"

"No," Steven denied as he stretched. "Got bored so I came here to look at the stars. Must've fallen asleep."

"C'mon and get yourself something to eat."

"Yeah." Steven ran a hand through his tousled black hair. "I'll change and be right down."

Hank was waiting for him. "Poured you a cup of coffee." Steven mumbled his thanks. "I
need to talk to you. I've reason to believe that the job we tried the other day was leaked to the bobbies."

"Oh?" Steven took a sip of coffee. "What brings you to that conclusion?"

"How else would the police have known we were going to be there? They were waiting for us. That's not all I have to say. I think they were aiming for you. That's why Ian was killed."

Steven bent his head over his coffee and didn't say a word. "So that's why you've been losing sleep! You've been having nightmares! Things like that happen in our line of work." Steven looked at his mentor with tears in his eyes. "He was my friend, and he was killed right in front of me with a bullet you just said was meant for me!"

"I want you to go home, back to America, while I figure things out this end. You're 19 and have a good future ahead of you, if the past and present are anything to go by." He took a sip of his own coffee. "I don't want my conscience nagging me when you're lying on some London street corner that I didn't send you home when I had the chance." He gave Steven a
quick hug. "It's for your own good, you understand."

Steven looked up at him and gave him a small smile. "Guess you're right. Besides," he
added, "my sister should be graduating from high school. I'll go pack." Halfway up the stairs, he turned around. "Check on the next boat to New York from Southampton, will you?"

"Already have. This afternoon at 4:00."

"Thanks, Hank."


Steven took a taxi to Southampton. He decided to travel as Stuart Taylor, his own fictitious
Scottish cousin. The 12-day voyage was uneventful. There was mention of sighting German
U-boats, but nothing more. Steven limped with a cane about the decks as a cover. When he
was asked why he wasn't in the military, he pointed to his leg and said: "Already done me
service. Invalided out, I was. Nasty business. Goin' to visit me cousin."

When the ship docked in New York, Steven gathered his bags and took a taxi to a car
dealer to buy his own transport. He picked out a convertible, paid in cash, had the tank filled with gas, and headed home.

He drove by the high school to check the date of graduation. It was tomorrow, June 10.
Since Greenwich was a small town, he didn't want to show up too early, so he drove up to
Stamford and rented a hotel room for the night. After dinner, he went into the hotel lounge
and picked up a paper. They only made minor reference to the war in Europe because the
United States wasn't involved.

"Isn't that why you're here, Mr. Taylor?"

Steven looked up to find the manager straightening up the room. "Aye, in a way. I've done
me time already. Got it in the leg. I've a cousin in Greenwich. I'm goin' tae see her
t'morrow." He looked at his watch. "I'll be goin' tae me room now. I'm still a wee bit tired from the trip." He walked upstairs to his room and stretched out on the bed. He thought about the last time he was home, two years ago, before he had faked his own death.
Because of that, he knew he had to be careful in presenting himself. He removed his makeup
and went to bed.



The next morning, after applying make-up and having breakfast, he paid his bill then drove to
Greenwich for the graduation. He spoke out loud to himself to practice his Scottish burr. His sister Sarah was quick and would spot a mistake.

Since he was early, he got to park close to the field where the ceremony would be held. He
wandered about the surrounding area to pass the time. He remembered his own graduation
and all the things that had happened since then. He returned and took a seat in one of the
back rows. After all the seats were filled, the procession started. Steven saw his sister Sarah looking quite beautiful in her Sunday best. He followed her eyes and saw his aunt smiling broadly. During the tedious ceremony, Steven's eyes wandered about the gathered crowd, picking out people he recognized, and that was practically everyone!

He waited until his family had left before he drove home. He rang the front doorbell and the
door was answered almost immediately. "May I help you?" his cousin Sheila asked.

"Aye, lass. Ah'm here tae visit m' cousin Sarah. Stuart Taylor from Edinburgh." He offered
his hand.

She took it timidly. "Come in. I'll tell Sarah you're here."

"Thank ye, lass." He stepped into the living room. He waited for his sister, quietly taking in his surroundings. He noticed an old photograph of Sarah and himself at his aunt and uncle's wedding. His sister appeared, still in her dress. "Ah, Sarah, lass. Let me look y'over. Aye, I c'n tell you're a Taylor."

"Cousin Stuart," Sarah said slowly, "welcome to America." She smiled. "Things must have
been hard in Scotland because of the war."

"That they were. I did see action, though, in France. Got shot in the leg. Decided tae come tae where it was quiet. Remembered you were here."

"Let me introduce you to my Aunt Stephanie. You already met my cousin Sheila. Come into
the kitchen." Sarah walked ahead. Steven followed. Would Stephanie recognize him?

"Aunt Stephanie, this is my cousin Stuart from Scotland."

Steven shook her hand. "Pleasure tae meet ye, ma'am."

Stephanie smiled. "It's good to know that Sarah has family aside from Sheila and myself."

She heard people in the backyard. "You must have lots to talk about. Take your time." She
left them alone.

Sarah turned on him. "What's going on, Steven?"

"Was I that transparent?"

"To me, you were. Why the charade of being dead? Stephanie was beside herself with

"What else would you have me do, being chased by the police? Go quietly to jail?"

"No, you can't do anything quietly. Where have you been all this time? Certainly not

"I've made a name for myself in New York, London, and Paris."

"What name?"

Steven stared her in the face. "The Eagle."

"You can't be serious." One look at his eyes and she know he was. She hugged him. "It
doesn't matter. At least you're here."

Steven heard a polite cough and looked towards the door. Aunt Stephanie stood there with
Sheila peeking in. How long had they been there? "Sorry to interrupt, Sarah, but there are
guests who wish to see you." She looked at Steven. "We can put you in my nephew's old
room. You should feel at home there." She winked. She had been there long enough.


The next day, Steven noted the absence of Fitz. He asked Sarah where he was. "His
parents had to go to a funeral so Fitz stayed to run the store. I'll call him and ask if he wants to go to the movies. I'll tell him I'm taking my Scottish cousin."

Steven laughed. "As long as he doesn't yell my name out loud in the theatre."

Fitz said he'd love to meet Sarah's cousin, but by the time he closed the store and they
walked to the cinema, the movie would have already started. Sarah told him not to worry
because Stuart had a car. "Pick you up at 7:15 then."

That night, Sarah and Steven picked up Fitz outside his parents' drugstore. Fitz climbed in
and Sarah made the introductions. Fitz gave Steven a curious look but said nothing. They
paid and stepped into the just-darkened theatre. About halfway through, Steven decided to
let Fitz know the truth. "So how's life been, Fitz?" he asked in his normal voice.

"Fine, Steven. You must have been busy, though," Fitz answered without taking his eyes
from the screen.

Steven looked at his best friend. "This is not a good sign if you can see through me like that. If you were any enemy, I could be dead."

"Fitz and I have known you longer than the people in the cities. We know you,"
Sarah whispered.

"That sounds reasonable."

They resumed watching the film.


When they left the theatre, a pair of menacing eyes closely watched them. They body they
were attached to, followed the trio to Steven's car. He noticed the car was new--and
expensive. The man jumped into his own car and followed at a distance. He had to find out
where his quarry was staying, and then figure out a way to deal with him.

The car stopped in front of the local drugstore and dropped off the other young man. It
continued down the main road and turned off onto a side road. The man drove past. He
knew it would be obvious he was trailing them if he also turned. He knew where they were
going, anyway.


After Steven stopped the car in the driveway, he slowly stepped from the car and looked to
the road. "What's wrong?" asked Sheila.

"We were being followed."

"When you're on the run every car is following you."

"No, this one really was. From the movies to the end of the road."

Sarah held her brother's arm. "You're shaking."

Steven had just seen the vision again: Ian lying dead at his feet. He shook his head. "I'm
okay. Just a little over-anxious, I guess."

"There's more to it than that. Come in and tell me about it."

"Are you a psychiatrist now?" he asked, unlocking the door.

"I'll be able to see it from a different perspective." She put the kettle on. "Now, sit down and start."

"A friend of mine--I guess you could call him my mentor--is convinced that someone in
England is trying to kill me. I hate to say it, but that's the main reason I've come home."

"And now you think this guy's followed you from London?"

"It seems to fit, doesn't it?"

"It's been three days since you arrived. Why has he only just gotten here?"

"After he found out that I had gone, he probably had to wait to get boat passage, then follow
a cooling trail to find me. I bet it was the car."


"He probably traced me through the car."

"Now that he's found you, what are you going to do?"

"Only one thing to do," he said, rising to remove the kettle from the stove.

"And?" Sarah prompted.

"And what?" Steven poured the water.

"What's the only thing?" she asked as he fixed his tea.

"Leave," he said as he casually sipped his tea.

"Are you crazy?"

"It's been rumored."

"That will confirm his suspicions about you. Just stick it out. For me?"

He looked at his sister. "How can I refuse? If anything happens--you get the blame!"


The following day, there was a knock on the front door and Sarah answered it. A young
man with light brown hair and green eyes stood on the porch, a suitcase in one hand. "May I
help you?" she asked.

"Yes. I'd like a room, please, if you have one," he said with an English accent.

"We do have one left. Come right in." She shut the door behind him. "Let me show you the
room before you sign anything." She led him upstairs. "My aunt is out at the moment running
some errands. She should be back soon and able to give you the details."

"What's through there?" he asked, with a nod towards a door on the landing.

"That's where the family sleeps." Sarah continued up the stairs to the second floor. "I hope you don't mind being at the side of the house."

"No, this room should suit me fine."

A car door slammed. "That must be my aunt back from shopping. You can finalize
everything with her."

They went downstairs and met the others at the door. "Aunt Stephanie, this gentleman is
interested in the last room. I'm sorry, I forgot to ask your name."

"Edward Hatch." He shook hands with Stephanie.

"My niece Sarah you've already met. This is a distant of hers from Scotland, Stuart Taylor."

At the contact of shaking hands, Steven saw his nightmare again. This was the man trying to
kill him. "You should enjoy your stay. This place is nice 'n' quiet. Sarah, why don't ye help me wi' the groceries so Stephanie c'n talk wi' Mr. Hatch?"

"Sure." She took the package from her aunt and followed Steven into the kitchen. "What is

"He's the one that's after me. Call it what you will, but when I shook his hand, I saw that
same vision. He's got to be the one."

"We just have to act like we have no idea why he's here."

"It won't be easy, but I'll try." He gave a half-smile.

"Let's go."

They walked out into the front hall just in time to see Mr. Hatch leaving Stephanie's "office".

"I hope you can extend your stay when you finish your business," Stephanie was saying.

"Maybe I will. It depends on how well things go." He reached for his suitcase, but Steven
beat him to it.

"Let me take that up for ye. I'm goin' up m'self." Edward nodded in surprise. "What part o' England are ye from?"

He gave Steven a sideways glance as they walked upstairs. "London."

"Kinda noisy there now, innit? All them bombs."

"Yes. What are you doing here? Why aren't you serving?"

"That's why I limp. Saw service in France. What about ye?"

"Flat feet."

"Oh." Steven paused. "What were ye, a peeler?"

"Here's my room," Edward said, ending the conversation. "I hope to see you again." He shut
the door.

Steven smirked. "I'm sure you do."

That evening, Steven's 13-year old cousin Sheila asked him to take her to the movies that
night. "I mean, it would be swell for my friends to see me with a suave Scotsman. Oh,
please, say you will."

There was no way Steven could refuse those pleading brown eyes. "Okay, only if you
behave yourself. I've got to talk to Sarah first then we can go." He found his
sister in her bedroom. "I'm going to the movies with Sheila. I've a feeling that Hatch will
follow. I want you to watch him as close as you can."

"What if he goes out?"

"That's what we want him to do. Just remember what time he goes out and when he comes
back. See you later. Ta."

Sheila beamed as she introduced "Stuart" to her friends. To please her, Steven acted as the
stereotypical suave Brit. As they sat and watched the film, Steven felt as if he was being
watched, but that was supposed to happen.

After the movie, Steven and Sheila said good-bye to her friends and walked to the car.
"Thank you for taking me out," Sheila said.

"It was fun. I enjoyed myself." He opened her door. He heard a loud bang. "Get down!"
he yelled as he pushed her to the ground. The bullet whizzed by his ear. "I want you to run
over to your friends," he whispered in Sheila's ear. If they've already gone, call home and tell them you need a ride home because I've been called away. Don't say a word about the
shooting. Go!" She ran across the parking lot as fast as she could. No shots were fired.

Steven watched her as she went, counted ten, then slowly climbed into the passenger's seat.
A bullet hit where his foot had been. "Why does this guy have it in for me?" He started the
car and sped out of the lot and down the road. He looked in the rearview mirror and saw
Hatch's car following. Steven drove even faster, knowing every inch of he road. He pulled
off into a side road and watched Hatch drive by. He went swiftly home, knowing it would
take Hatch long to figure out what happened.

Once he arrived, he checked on Sheila. She had just caught her friends who them gave her a
ride. Stephanie was angry, but Sarah knew the reason. Steven got himself a Coke. "Than
man---," he left the rest unsaid as he took a drink.

"What man?" asked Stephanie.

"Our new boarder."

"Dear Mr. Hatch? You don't mean to blame him for your leaving Sheila?"

"Oh, but he does," Sarah said in her brother's defense. She looked at Steven. "You might as
well tell her."

"Tell me what?" asked Stephanie, getting impatient.

Steven sat at the table. "Your 'dear' Mr. Hatch followed me here from England to kill me.
We had just pulled a job and as we left the building, at least four police cars were waiting for us. Since they thought us armed, they had guns. As my friend reached for a piece of gum, the police shot him because they thought he was going for a gun. I ran to his side but it was too late. I would have stayed and let them kill me if my 'mentor' hadn't pulled me to shelter. They picked up the body and took it to a morgue. That was the last I saw of him."

"How does Mr. Hatch fit into this?"

"I kept having nightmares, seeing Ian lying there in front of me, waking up screaming. A
friend told me that he thought someone was out for me and the best thing to do was to leave
England for awhile. So I came here. The night Sarah, Fitz and I went to the movies, we
were followed home. The next morning, Mr. Hatch showed up. When I shook his hand, I
saw the vision again. Sarah could probably tell you that he followed me tonight."

"I still don't believe you."

"Stephanie, I know I have a creative imagination, but I couldn't make this up."

"I'll try and keep an open mind, but I'm not promising anything."

"That's all I can ask for." He finished his soda. "I'm going upstairs. I'm worn out." He went to his room, sat on his bed, and tried to come up with a plausible reason for Hatch to be after him. Well, he couldn't be avenging any death because Steven had never killed
anyone--wounded, maybe, but never killed. Maybe it was because he stole something from
him. Steven wracked his brain trying to think of what. There was a knock on his door.
"Come in."

Sarah walked in. "I saw your light on. Tell me what you're thinking about. I might be able to help."

"I'm just trying to figure out why he'd be after me. I'm getting a blank." He ran his hand
through his hair. "It's driving me crazy."

She sat on the corner of his bed. "Looking at you now, I feel guilty for talking you into

"No, you did what you thought was right." He yawned.

Sarah looked at her watch. "It's after midnight."

"That late? You'd better get to bed."

"What about you?"

"I'm kinda tired myself."

"I didn't mean that. What are you going to do about Hatch?"

"I've no idea. Maybe something will come to me in the night." He smiled as she left the


Steven heard the click and was wide awake. "What do you want, Hatch?"

"That's very good, Steven. Don't make a move; I have a gun aimed at your head. You
shouldn't be surprised that I know your real name. You should be more careful where you
hold your conversations. I heard everything when I came in tonight." He motioned with the
gun. "Now get up and join the rest of your family downstairs."

Steven sat up. "How do you know they haven't called the police?"

"I'm not naive. If you look into the corner, you will see the reason." Steven looked into the specified corner and, as his eyes adjusted, he saw Sheila standing there, terrified. "So you see, Steven, I'm holding all the cards."

"Well, I just happen to have my own deck," he said to himself as he got up and went to his

Sarah and Stephanie were waiting in the living room. Sheila ran to her mother. "I don't know how I could have doubted you," Stephanie said.

"Don't worry about it. I mean, it was inevitable, us both under the same roof." He sat in a
chair and leisurely put his feet on the ottoman. "Now for the big question: why do you want
to kill me?"

"As a thief, you further yourself at the disadvantage of others. Do you ever think 'what if it were me being robbed'? No, you go right ahead with it. To get to my point, you robbed a
jewelry store in April belonging to one Karen Collins. She lost everything and killed herself."

"So you're on a one-man crusade?"

"She was my fiancée."

Steven knew he had to think fast. "Thieves are part of the social hierarchy. If it weren't for us, police would be out of a job, and the rich, well-off people would lead more boring lives than they do now. I didn't kill your fiancée. How was I supposed to know she had sunk all her savings into the business? She just wasn't strong enough mentally, I guess, to take the strain."

"What are you going to do with us?" asked Sarah.

"You are here to keep your brother from playing the hero. You see, I took the liberty of
calling the police myself to tell them that Steven Taylor was alive and well and living at home. I decided to wait to tell them that you are also the Eagle."

"How did you know to follow me?"

"The eagle feathers. Your calling card."

"Let me rephrase that. How did you know it was me, the person?"

"After Karen died, I followed your exploits in the papers and the police reports, trying to
figure out your modus operandi. I then went and did some legwork of my own. The
police reports stated that well-known criminal Hank Wright had been seen in the vicinity of
some of your jobs. I went to find him and recognized him by the description. You were
there with him. I didn't know you were the Eagle then, but I thought that if I followed Wright, I'd find him. I did."

"Very impressive. Now what?" Steven placed his feet back on the floor.

"Wait for the police to come get you. Then I'll feel better about everything, knowing you're
behind bars."

Steven acted like lightning. "I'm not there yet!" He rushed Hatch who fired the gun. They
wrestled for control of the weapon and it flew out of their hands across the room. Sarah and
Stephanie had taken cover behind the sofa but Sheila stood there, entranced.

Steven's hand was on the gun, but Hatch kicked him in the arm, numbing it. Hatch then took
the gun, grabbed Sheila, and held her in front of him. "How foolish, Taylor. You could have
endangered someone else's life." He looked at Sheila. "You have."

Steven still lay on the floor, holding his wounded arm. "Just thought I'd give it a try. I've been known to do crazy things."

A car's headlights shined into the room. "Ah, the constabulary." Hatch looked out the

Steven's good arm loosened his knife from its sheath. Hatch let go of Sheila and moved to
the door to greet the police. Steven took advantage of this and threw the knife. Hatch's
body jerked as the knife entered.

Sarah ran to Steven. "Are you okay? You'd better go, the police will arrest you."

Steven sat up. "They already know I'm here. 'Sides, I'm not feeling too good for a quick
getaway." He put his free hand up to his head. "I think I'll need a doctor to get a bullet out."

There was a knock on the door. "Police."

Sarah reluctantly opened the door and let them in. One went directly to Steven, recognizing
him, and read him his rights. His partner went to Hatch's nod. "Better add murder to that."

"It was self-defense," Stephanie told them. "Mr. Hatch--that's his name--was holding a gun
to my daughter to make Steven cooperate. At the first opportunity, Steven threw his knife.
He only meant to wound him. He's not a killer."

A crowd of boarders had begun to gather on the stairs, curious about the gunfire. When
Steven's name was mentioned, they knew the truth.

"Will you attest to that in court, ma'am?" asked one of the officers.

"Of course. But can't you get him to a doctor?"

Sarah helped Steven get up. "Don't worry, Steph. If I die, it'll be like loosing the golden
goose--again." Steven stared the policeman in the face. He had escaped from the same one
last year. "You have the advantage this time."

"Come along now," the first policeman said to Steven. "The better you cooperate, the
quicker the bullet comes out."

"And the quicker I go to jail."

"We'll send along for the coroner, ma'am," said the second policeman as he made for the
door. "We'll have to ask you some questions, but that can wait until morning."

Steven kissed Sarah good-bye. "Don't worry, I'll get away. At least I get free medical
attention." He smiled as he was escorted out the door.


Steven woke up in the hospital and let his eyes wander about the Spartan room. There was
only his bed, a small desk, and a night table. There was only one window and that had bars
on the outside. He put the bed in the upright position and took a deep breath. "What have
you gotten yourself into now?"

The door opened and a doctor came in followed by a second man. "The detective has some
questions to ask you."

Steven smiled at the detective. "I don't know what I can answer that the detective doesn't
know already."

"None of your sweet talk, Taylor. You're off the hook for murder, but you still have those
thefts to contend with."

"What about double jeopardy? I can't be arrested for the same crime twice."

"You've been doing a lot of reading."

"Don't you think it natural that I should keep up on law in my line of work?"

"Double jeopardy says you can't be convicted of the same crime twice. You never
made it to the station. Where did you go after you faked your death?"


"Why was that fella after you?"

"He mistook me for someone else, I guess."

The detective headed for the door. "Maybe I'll come back when you're a bit more

"You'd better hurry. I don't know how long I plan to stay!" Steven called as the detective

"You certainly are pressing your luck, young man," the doctor remarked as he examined
Steven's bandaged arm. "What made you charge a man with a loaded gun?"

Steven shrugged. "Family ties?"

"What about that last remark about not staying?"

"I said it mainly to annoy him. I didn't really mean anything by it. What time is it? I'm

"5:00. You slept a good 14 hours. I'll have someone bring you your food." The doctor left.

Steven stretched as far as he could without pain. He did mean what he said to the
detective. He couldn't stay here. The longer he stayed in prison, the better the chances they would find out he was the Eagle. But how was he going to manage it? Having a bad arm had its disadvantages as well as advantages.

As he lay there contemplating his immediate future, a young volunteer brought him some food.
She seemed quite startled to find that she was serving a thief. She put down the tray and
backed away. "It's okay, I don't bite," he said with a smile as he sipped some water.

"What's your name?"

"Colleen," she replied, disarmed by his smile. "I didn't know you were so hand--young." She
had almost said handsome.

He noticed this and smiled again. "How old did you think I was?"

"Definitely not 19." She relaxed and watched him eat. "Did you really kill a man?"

"Purely self-defense. He was holding a gun to my cousin." Steven swallowed. "Did I make
the paper?"

"Are you kidding? Front page. They were reading it at the nurses' station. I'll get to for

"Thanks." Steven watched as she left. This meeting could very well be his passport out. He
wouldn't use her in the cruel way--play upon her emotions and such--but simply ask her
questions "out of curiosity".

She returned with the paper. "Here you are. Front page headlines. They don't have a
picture of you."

"My aunt probably refused to give them one." Steven read the article. They included his past history and ended with the fight and his arrest. "They've included everything and did a pretty good job."

"Why didn't she?" Colleen asked.

"Hunh?" Steven was confused.

"Why didn't your aunt give them a picture?"

"I told them I was going to escape and she doesn't want anyone to recognize me."

Colleen was shocked. "You can't mean that?"

"With a wounded arm, I doubt strongly that I will. I just said that to make them feel better."

He smiled. "When do you get off? I hope you won't be wasting all your time in a hospital."

"I get off at 7:00." She smiled back at him. "My boyfriend and I will be going to the movies.

Tyrone Power." She stared at Steven. "You remind me of him."

A nurse came in. "Time for your pills, Mr. Taylor. I'm not going to leave until I see you take them."

Steven put the pills in his mouth, sipped his water and swallowed. "Are you happy now?"

The nurse left. Steven and Colleen laughed. Steven poured a second glass of water. "Here,
take this to the guard outside, with my compliments."

"Yes, milord," she said with a mock curtsey and went outside. When she returned, Steven
asked if the guard drank everything. "Every last drop. He was very thirsty." She looked at
her watch. "I'd better finish my rounds. Will you be here tomorrow?"

"Where can I go?"

"Well, I won't be surprised if you're not." She smiled and walked out.

Steven settled down for a quick nap. He had a busy night ahead.


He woke up at 11:30. He had slept longer than he had intended. He sat up slowly and put
his feet over the side of the bed. There was a slight dizzy spell, but that soon passed. He
changed into his own clothes and walked slowly to the door. He then opened the door a
crack. The guard was still asleep. Steven wondered how much longer the tranquilizers
would last. He tip-toed quickly across the hall, found an orderly station, and stole a jacket. He then walked purposefully past the nurse on duty as if he were on a mission. Once past that obstacle he took the stairs in order to avoid more people.

There, straight ahead, the gates of freedom, the glass doors leading outside. Steven took a
deep breath to relax then walked to the doors. The phone at the admitting desk rang and the
nurse answered it. She talked into the receiver then looked at Steven. "Hey! You! Stop!"
She pressed the alarm button to call security.

"Hell!" Steven threw off the coat and bolted for the door. He heard the pounding feet of a
guard coming and made for a line of parked cars. After trying two cars, he found an
unlocked door and hid inside. The guard ran right by. Steven thought quickly. If he waited
to get away, the owner of the car might come back, but if he started now, they might follow
him. "To hell with it!" he said as he hot-wired the car and sped out of the lot.

He anticipated being followed, so he took the roundabout route to the station. He figured
that they would think he would head for home or New Haven, but he fooled them. He went
for New York. He still had connections there. Besides, he needed more money. He had
been honest for too long.

When he reached New York, his arm was beginning to hurt. He took a taxi to the
Waldorf-Astoria and registered with a modest room. He felt this way he could recuperate
and work at the same time. After all, this was the site of his first job.

He fell asleep upon hitting the bed. He hadn't realized he was that exhausted. His dreams
were untroubled. He only saw his smiling family and it seemed to be from a time when he
had no troubles with the police. Would that ever come true?

The next morning, Steven went outside where he found a public phone. He had three calls to
make. He dialed the first. "Hello. Taylor Boarding House. May I help you?"

"Yes, can I interest you in tap lessons?"

"You're not making yourself clear sir."

"Good, I wasn't sure if you would catch on."

"Tap lessons? Really, Steven."

"No time for that now. I'm sure you heard about last night."

"The place has been buzzing. We were wondering if you'd call."

"It's just to say that I'm fine. The arm's still sore, but I'll live. You'll be hearing from me, through the papers if not directly."

"Be careful, Steven."

"Thanks, Sarah." He hung up. He then dialed overseas. "Hank, it's Steven. Just telling you not to worry. The would-be killer is out of the picture. He actually had the nerve to rent a room at my aunt's boarding house. I'll be staying in New York for a while. I'll let you know when I'm back in London. Thanks for everything."

He dialed the final number. "Greenwich Hospital? I'd like to leave a message for one of your young volunteers by the name of Colleen. 'Thanks for our talk the other night. Everything will work out fine.' Sign that 'Tyrone Power'. She'll understand."

He then strolled down the avenue and found a small cafe with good prices. He ordered a
cup of coffee and some eggs. He then began to plan his next job. He toasted himself with
the coffee. The Eagle was alive and well and living in New York.


SPN Dean Writing

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